comment on the mingling of genres in pgmalion?

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narrypau | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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Comment on the mingling of genre in Pygmalion. Pygmalion is a comedy about a phonetics expert who, as a kind of social experiment, attempts to make a lady out of an uneducated Cockney flower-girl. "Pygmalion" is most obviously a play since it is written to be performed on stage, and its most popular version is the musical known as "My Fair Lady," also produced as a film. It is, more concretely, a comedy of manners in that it portrays confrontation between the social classes (and derives most of its humor from this). It is not really a love story per se, in spite of a certain domestic battle of the sexes going on between Eliza and Higgins. Neither is it a fairy tale with the traditional 'happily ever after' denouement. There is no prince, no chateau, and a would-be "princess" (Eliza) with no place to go... Some critics criticize the fact that the musical and film versions tinker with the ending to make it 'fit' better with these genres. The title, incidentally, is an allusion to a Greek myth in which a young sculptor chisels a statue of a woman so perfect that he falls in love with it. He pleads favor with Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) to make it come alive, and his wish is granted. This of course corresponds to the transformation of Eliza under Higgins' care, but the analogy pretty much stops there.

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hopscotch | Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

There is no "mingling" of genres in the play--it is a comedy of manners.

comedy does not mean that it is funny in the modern sense of the word, but the comedic factor is focused the use of language or wit. Nor does it imply a "happy ending" as can be seen by the transformation of the flower girl.

This type of comedy is usually a satire towards a specific society.


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